Wasatch School Board Members Answer Questions About Location Of The Proposed New High School

Location, location, location. The Wasatch County School Board answered questions regarding the location of the proposed new high school at their Tuesday special meeting where they passed the resolution for the $150 million bond.

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On Tuesday evening the Wasatch School Board unanimously passed a resolution to bring the $150 million bond to election. This November, Wasatch County residents will be able to vote on the bond which would result in the creation of a new high school and replace the current Midway Elementary school.

The proposed site for the new high school is on the west side of Heber. Located across the street from the Wasatch County Southfield Park, on the other side of Midway Lane.

At the meeting Wasatch School Board member Cory Holmes addressed questions about other sites considered for the high school.

“Board member Davis and Baird are both real estate agents and have spent numerous hours looking at what we feel is every parcel in the county that was available,” Holmes continued. “We liked some, but we didn’t have a willing seller, so we had to move on.  Some just weren’t going to work. When we finally put this site under contract we were elated, we think it’s a terrific spot. Yes, there were some concerns that Paul (Berg) has addressed to us and we’ve done our homework on it, but we love the spot. If the voters will allow, we think it’s a great spot for our next high school.”

One spot considered was located near the Wasatch UVU campus, Wasatch School Board President Blaik Baird says that they have additional safety concerns about building the new high school along a busy highway.

“We did look into that very seriously,” Baird explained. “Looked what it would cost to excavate and do that but at the end of the day even with that, that’s a lot of students on Highway 40 going to that school. Having to cross from the west side over through that road that can be very busy and dangerous. So, we just didn’t feel that was the appropriate site at this time.”

That property near UVU, along with another property by the Jordanelle, have been donated to the district by developers. Board member Tom Hansen says the time will come when they’ll likely use the properties, but that time isn’t now.

“We do own a piece of property up on the Sorenson development and we’ve investigated that,” Hansen said. “It’s going to cost us six to seven million dollars to excavate it, turn it into a viable site. We don’t fell that the timing is right for that site. The town hasn’t moved that way quite yet. There’s another elementary site that we do own right next to Jordanelle Reservoir and the timing isn’t right for that. However, those pieces of property will be used in the future.”

You can listen to an interview with the Wasatch School District Communications Director John Moss here.

Heber Valley Artisan Cheese held their 2nd annual Ice Sculptures Exhibition this weekend. Several local businesses sponsored the sculptures being displayed. There were also two different ice carving demonstrations. The event was free to the public.

The annual event began last year when Carolee Kohler saw ice sculpting on a Hallmark movie and thought it would be a fun idea for their farm. They are also considering a woodcarving event.

According to Lindsey Strother, social media and events coordinator, each sculpture takes between 1-3 hours to carve. “We contacted Amazing Ice Creations back in November, and we reached out to local companies to sponsor the ice sculptures,” she said. “Yesterday morning around 9 am, they came in a massive truck and dropped them all off for us, and we set them up.”

Along with the ice sculptures, sponsors receive a sign and canopy for the display and social media marketing. The sponsors decide what they want to have sculpted. After the event, they can take the ice sculptures and display them at their businesses. The creations normally last a couple of weeks. Some will be left in the field and can be viewed throughout the week.

The ice this year included Olaf, company logos, animals, and other items. Darron Kingston, the sculptor, has carved ice for over 10 years with his dad. According to Kingston, “I like sculptures that give me a challenge. Here, for example, my favorite was the lumberjack.” One of his favorite past creations was a 9-foot bear.

Grant Kohler, owner of Heber Valley Artisan Cheese, explained, “We decided to do something that was free and something that people could just get out and come and enjoy. Especially this year with Covid, it seems like Januarys are slow months. People are looking for things to be able to get outside and do.” He continued, “Businesses pay in and buy the sculptures, we have them sculpted, and then we just let people come and enjoy them.” Kohler estimated around 3,000 to 4,000 people will stop by the event.

The dairy farm also offers cheese-making classes and tours of their new robotic barn. “The tours are everyday except Sunday,” according to Kohler. “People hayride over, intermingle with the cows, see the barn and amenities, and watch the cows be milked. The cows will literally go get milked on their own.” Tickets for the tours and other events are available on the Heber Valley Artisan Cheese website: https://hebervalleyartisancheese.com/.